Detection of parasitemia profiles by blood culture after treatment of human chronic Trypanosoma cruzi infection
The change in parasitemia profile, measured by sequential blood cultures of 27 benznidazole (Bz) treated patients compared with 13 untreated patients, on the chronic phase of chagas disease, is described. All patients were adults (age limits: 23–88) with positive serology (three tests); 23 of them were females. All patients were submitted to six blood cultures, three before and three after Bz treatment. The parasitemia was classified as nondetected (with three negative blood cultures), medium (one positive culture in three), and high (two or three positive cultures). From the eight patients with nondetected parasitemia before Bz, seven still had the same profile and only one switched to medium; from eight with medium parasitemia, seven shifted to nondetected, and one to high parasitemia. From the 11 patients with high parasitemia before Bz, ten converted to nondetected and only one was positive after Bz. Nineteen of the 27 patients changed the parasitemia profile (70.4%), and the rate of therapeutic failure was 11.1% (3/27) during the first 24 months of follow-up after Bz. The shift to nondetected parasitemia profile was from 8/27 to 24/27 patients after Bz treatment for the first 2 years. Only 46.2% (6/13) of the nontreated individuals changed the parasitemia profile. We conclude that there is a strong trypanocide effect of Bz (88.8%) and a rate of therapeutic failure of 11.1% during the first 2 years after trypanocidal treatment.
KeywordsBlood Culture Chronic Phase Positive Blood Culture Therapeutic Failure Nitrofuran
We thank Nair Marques Silva, Afonso Costa Viana, and Orlando Carlos Magno for technical assistance. This study was supported by grant No. 41/96/0894/00 PRONEX-Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), and by fellowships from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento do Pessoal de Ensino Superior-Plano Institucional de Capacitação Docente (CAPES-PICD) and CNPq.
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